Of Chennai and Liam Neeson and soup!

I have a guest post today from my older daughter Archana – for whom this whole blog was started by the way! Arch has become a pretty nifty cook – both from the blog and in her own right… here’s one of her recipes.
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As anyone who grew up in (and lives in) Chennai knows, the humid heat is one of those things that are always with you, and never leaves. On the flip side, the second it goes below twenty five degree Celsius, nearly everyone on the beach is wearing a monkey cap – after all, it’s cold now!
Two years ago, I moved from Chennai to Ohio. On my first day in Graduate School, my colleagues began to talk about boots with nails in them, and breaking various limbs by slipping on the ice during the winters. I toyed with the idea of hightailing it back home, but eventually I decided to stick around to see what it was really like – after all, how bad could it be? All I had to do was add more layers, right? RIGHT?
Those were famous last thoughts. November came around, and suddenly the temperature went below zero for days and days together. Most days, I was convinced that my nose was going to fall off on my walk to my office and be found by some hapless bystander. Every day involved a trek through snow that was only possible by imagining I was a character in one of Alistair MacLean’s better known books (Night Without End). And, just for fun, a ‘polar vortex’ made an appearance in January, to ensure that Ohio was colder than Alaska (I checked).
I have now survived two winters in the American midwest, and I have to say, I never thought I’d have anything in common with Liam Neeson, but I empathized extremely strongly with his character in ‘The Grey’ – sans the wolves, thankfully.
One of the things that helped me survive winter was soup. ANY soup. One my favourite soups is Celery and Potato soup, which is SUPER easy and actually more delicious than you think!
1 head of celery
2 small potatoes
1 green chilli
1 onion
400 ml vegetable stock
Fry the onions in any oil or butter (for decadence). Add green chilli. Peel and wash potatoes (you can pre-cook them in a cooker to make this faster). Wash the celery. Cut both into fairly little chunks. Add potatoes and celery to the onions, and pour the vegetable stock into the pot too. Cook covered for 8-10 mins (until the potatoes are soft). Take it off the stove. When it’s cooled a bit, blend the whole thing. Put it back on the stove, add salt and pepper to taste.